Following on closely from the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6 – an event marked by emotional scenes as surviving World War Two troops returned to the beaches of Normandy – Armed Forces and Veterans Day will take place on Saturday in the city centre.
The occasion is a chance to remember and pay tribute to veterans of all ages, as well as today’s armed forces personnel.
Starting on Norfolk Row, the traditional parade will reach the Peace Gardens at around midday. Accompanied by the Woodhouse Brass Band, it will take a route up Fargate and past the Town Hall. The Lord Mayor, Coun Tony Downing, will give a speech at the parade’s conclusion.
Entertainment is being offered in the Peace Gardens and Millennium Square. The Ashby Big Band are playing at 12.20pm and 2.20pm, while Vera Lynn tribute artist Lorrie Brown, who is from Sheffield, will take to the stage too.
Dame Vera played a pivotal role in maintaining wartime morale among British forces, performing concerts in India, Burma and Egypt during World War Two and earning the nickname ‘the Forces’ Sweetheart’.
Remarkably the singer – now aged 102 – has already contacted Lorrie directly to wish her well ahead of Saturday.
"It was such a surprise and such an honour to receive the message, to know that Dame Vera herself is taking an interest in the work we are doing is amazing," said Lorrie, who will sing for an hour from 1.10pm.
"It’s so special to be performing in my home city."
Lorrie plans to play a recording of her message from Dame Vera to the audience.
Cadets, as well as members of the reserve and regular armed forces, will be present from 11am to 3pm to talk about career opportunities and demonstrate their skills – people are invited to test their ‘hand-to-eye co-ordination and agility’.
See https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/event/sheffield-armed-forces-veterans-day-3/ for further details.